UNK helping kids learn the importance of daily exercise

UNK played host to over 600 fourth graders from schools across central Nebraska.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 8:19 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - UNK played host to over 600 fourth graders from schools across central Nebraska. It was all for the Nebraska Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day.

The kids learned about healthy eating habits in the health and sports center, then, it was out to Cope Stadium for some fun.

There were several stations on the football field where kids could get active and play various games. Helping with those stations were several UNK student volunteers, and some know the joys that can come out of the day of fun.

“I went to elementary school at Meadowlark Elementary so I remember coming here in fourth grade, that was the thing you look forward to the whole year,” UNK exercise science student Claire Vanderbeek said. “We see a lot of variety of kids here, and they come from all different households some kids are in sports, others aren’t which is fine, but it’s fun to be able to show all of the kids how easy and fun physical activity can be.”

Event organizer Kate Heelan said the volunteers get to apply skills they learn in a real-world environment.

“We can teach them in a classroom how you organize how you introduce a new activity, but then you get them around a group of kids where they have to be able to say it and talk about it and leader them through it and have some confidence in what they are doing,” Heelan said. “It’s so fun to see our UNK students come out of their shell, we don’t see the enjoyment in the classroom that we see here.”

In addition to the physical activities here on the football field, there was also an indoor segment where they could learn about nutrition.